Char­lie Gard par­ents drop their le­gal fight, agree to let child die

The Denver Post - - NEWS - By Caro­line Spiezio, Jill Law­less and Dan­ica Kirka

LON­DON» The par­ents of Char­lie Gard, whose bat­tle to get their crit­i­cally ill baby ex­per­i­men­tal treat­ment stirred in­ter­na­tional sym­pa­thy and con­tro­versy, dropped their le­gal ef­fort Mon­day, say­ing tear­fully that it was time to let their son die.

At an emo­tional court hear­ing, a lawyer for the baby’s par­ents, Chris Gard and Con­nie Yates, said the cou­ple were with­draw­ing a bid to have Char­lie sent to the United States, where a doc­tor had of­fered to try to treat his rare ge­netic con­di­tion. The de­ci­sion came af­ter new med­i­cal tests showed the 11-month-old, who has brain dam­age and can­not breathe un­aided, had ir­re­versible mus­cu­lar dam­age.

Both par­ents wept in the packed court­room at the High Court in Lon­don as lawyer Grant Arm­strong made the an­nounce­ment, his voice break­ing.

“This case is now about time,” Arm­strong said. “Sadly, time has run out.”

Out­side court, Chris Gard said that Char­lie “won’t make his first birth­day in just un­der two weeks’ time.”

“We are about to do the hard­est thing that we will ever have to do, which is to let our beau­ti­ful lit­tle Char­lie go,” he said.

Gard and Yates, who are in their 30s and from Lon­don, have fought fe­ro­ciously for their son, who was born in Au­gust 2016 with mi­to­chon­drial de­ple­tion syn­drome, a rare ge­netic dis­ease.

The baby has been treated at Great Or­mond Street Hos­pi­tal in Lon­don, one of the world’s lead­ing chil­dren’s hos­pi­tals. Doc­tors there say Char­lie is in pain and fur­ther treat­ment would only in­crease his suf­fer­ing. They have sought per­mis­sion from the courts to switch off his life sup­port.

Chris Rat­cliffe, Getty Im­ages

Chris Gard, the fa­ther of ter­mi­nally ill, 11-month-old Char­lie Gard, reads a state­ment with Char­lie’s mother, Con­nie Yates, in Lon­don on Mon­day.

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